In the 2012/2013 season, AFC Ajax will play in the Dutch Eredivisie. The season started on June 25, 2012. As reigning national champion, Ajax officially opened the season with the battle for the Johan Cruijff Shield against PSV. A week later, the Eredivisie season was opened against AZ. In the KNVB cup Ajax reached the semi-finals, where it was eliminated by AZ. Ajax started in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League 2012/13 together in the group with Real Madrid CF, Manchester City FC and Borussia Dortmund. Ajax finished third in this, which resulted in qualification for the second round of the UEFA Europa League 2012/13. Ajax was linked to the Romanian Steaua Bucharest. A draw was achieved in two games, which meant that it came down to penalties. These were eventually lost, making European elimination a fact.